Google Ad Program Gives Web Publishers Their Share

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-06-18 Print this article Print

The search giant unveils a program that shares ad revenue with Web sites incorporating its search box, as well as an experimental site-search feature that tailors results to site categories.

Adding Googles Web search to their sites could pay off for Web publishers. Google Inc. on Friday announced a new program that lets publishers gain a share of the revenue from sponsored links when they sign up to use the companys Web search on their sites. The company also unveiled a pilot project that lets sites tailor results by categories. To participate in the revenue-sharing program, called AdSense for Search, Web-site operators add a Google search box to their sites, which will take users to general Web results or to site-specific results, a Google spokesman said.
AdSense ads then appear alongside the search results. AdSense, Googles search-based ad program for publishers, returns sponsored Web links based on the keywords in a search query or in a Web pages text.
Click here to read more about legal challenges to Googles advertising practices. AdSense for Search is available for free to publishers and is available now. Google hosts the Web results, but Web publishers can choose to customize the appearance of results pages with their own logos and color schemes as well as to track the number of queries, clicks and revenue-share earnings, Google announced. This is not the first time that the Mountain View, Calif., search company has combined Google Web search with AdSense for publishers. Google already was offering a similar program to large Web sites and portals from companies such as America Online Inc., EarthLink Inc. and BellSouth Corp. But the latest program extends the offering to the mass market. Google in late April filed for an initial public offering and disclosed that advertising accounted for about 95 percent of its $961.9 million in revenues last year. Read more here about the significance of Googles IPO for the search industry. Also on Friday, Google Labs, the companys playground for new technology, made public a project called Site-Flavored Google Search. By specifying the main topic of their sites, Web publishers can return more-targeted Google search results , both from the general Web and from their sites pages. A computer site, for example, might categorize itself as being primarily about computer hardware. If a user were to search for "mouse," the results would focus on the computer peripheral rather than on the animal, Google said. As with other Google Labs projects, Google officials would not say whether the site-flavored search project would become a full product. Check out eWEEK.coms Developer & Web Services Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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